Welcome to the electronic newsletter from
Grand Haven Charter Township!

Stay informed on what is happening in the township. This newsletter will deliver up-to-date information including upcoming meetings, development news, township services and more!

You can always find more information on our website or Facebook .
Fiscal Year 2020 Budget
The Township Board has reviewed a $13.44 million budget for the Fiscal Year 2020 — which starts on January 1st. Some of the noteworthy items within the budget include:

  • Provide Fire and Rescue services and respond to about 1,400 emergency calls — including the purchase of a new Fire pumper truck ($1,690,000)
  • Contract for Police protection with five (5) deputies through the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department ($553,000)
  • Supplement the street maintenance work of the Ottawa County Road Commission ($514,000)
  • Financially support Harbor Transit on-demand bus service ($451,000)
  • Replace storm drains, install sidewalks and extend water mains on the south side of Robbins Road between 168th Avenue and 172nd Avenue ($903,000)
  • Replace a section of large diameter storm sewer along 172nd Avenue, south of Comstock ($212,000)
  • Normal storm drain maintenance ($34,000)
  • Four (4) Elections in 2020 ($152,000)
  • Cemetery operations ($166,000)
  • Park operations and maintenance ($308,000)
  • Street lighting ($127,000)
  • Pathway operations and maintenance — including resurfacing a section of Lakeshore Drive pathway between Hayes Street and Ferris Street ($953,000)
  • Purchase of 619 million gallons of water through NOWS and Grand Rapids along with the operation and maintenance of the water distribution system ($2,480,000)
  • Treatment of 114 million gallons of wastewater through the Grand Haven/Spring Lake Sewer Authority and operations of sewage collection system ($797,000)
  • Information Technology including licensing, software, hardware and support services ($288,000)
  • Various debt payments for the pathway ($292,000) and the administrative and public services buildings ($226,000). (It is noted that the building debt will expire in 2021.)

A detailed explanation of the Township′s FY 2020 budget can be found within the Township Board packets for the November 25th Board meeting at: http://www.ght.org/boards/meeting-packets/
Short-Term Rentals
The Township has noticed an uptick in these rentals within traditional residential neighborhoods and corresponding complaints from neighbors regarding noise, parking, trash, property maintenance or just poor behavior. As a result, the Township Board has decided to address short-term rentals in order to protect the character of our neighborhoods.

The Short-Term Rental ordinances will be adopted simultaneous with the new Zoning Ordinance. That said, an overview of the basic regulations includes:

1.        All Short-Term Rentals (STRs) are required to be registered with the Township. Further, there will be a public hearing that will allow neighbors within 300 ft of the proposed STR to share any concerns.

2.        STRs will not be allowed in any platted subdivision, site condominium, single family residential planned unit development, or any “subdivisions” that are not platted but have at least 8 homes using a private road. 

3.        The minimum duration for a stay is 6 days, and no less.

4.        The total duration for the year that a house can be rented is 16 weeks, which accounts for the majority of the tourism season.

Short-term rental regulations will be discussed at the January 13 th Board meeting.

If you want to review the text of the proposed Short-Term Rental Regulation ordinance or examine the proposed Short-Term Rental map (i .e., areas in red will not allow for short-term rentals ), please use the following link:  www.ght.org/STR .
Home Security Checks
Leaving for warmer weather? Or just taking a vacation? Grand Haven Charter Township, through its community policing program, provides free security checks to its citizens who will be away from their homes or businesses. Deputies will periodically check the exterior of the property. This service is offered to deter potential burglars and provides additional security while your property is unoccupied.

Any resident that will be out of the area may use the program, whether you are leaving for a short time or if you will be gone for several months. To request a property check, please submit the Property Check Form at least one week prior to your departure. The form can be found at:  https://www.miottawa.org/HomeSecurity/
Holiday Hours
The Grand Haven Charter Township offices will be closed for the Holidays on Tuesday, December 24 th and Wednesday, December 25 th . Further, the Township will be close at noon on Tuesday, December 31 st and will remain closed on Wednesday, January 1 st .  
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal
For information regarding Household Hazardous Waste Disposal, follow the link below to Ottawa County's Public Health Department website: https://www.miottawa.org/Health/OCHD/hh_waste.htm  

Historic Cemetery Expansion
Work on clearing the area for the Historic Cemetery expansion project has begun. Also, it is noted that the property adjacent will provide fill from a recently excavated pond to help equalize the land.
Eagle Scout Project
Kudos to Zach Whitaker for replacing ten (10) wood duck nesting houses in the Hofma Park and Preserve for his Eagle Scout project. 
City - Request for Assistance
The City of Grand Haven's Building Official recently resigned and accepted a position with the City of Norton Shores. Unfortunately, because Grand Haven City will not have a Building Official, the City would not be able to issue building permits. As a result, the City of Grand Haven has requested help from the Township on a short-term basis.

That said, the agreement is fairly simple wherein the City of Grand Haven will pay the Township the labor costs ( i.e., wages and benefits ) of the employees that assist plus a 15% overhead fee. The Township will act as an independent contractor for the City.

Township staff will be limited to completing the physical work necessary ( e.g., inspections, plan reviews, etc .) and will forward the results to the City – who will be responsible for all record keeping.

This is a short-term, temporary arrangement and will cease in early 2020 when the City of Grand Haven hires a Building Official. Moreover, because the winter months are typically the slowest months for construction, the Township's building staff believe that the Building Department has sufficient capacity to assist the City for this short-term. 
US-31 Access Plans
MDOT met with Township staff and the Ottawa County Road Commission to discuss proposals for US-31 south of M-45 that would close several median access crossings and install new Indirect Turns ( i.e., Michigan-Lefts ). 

One of the proposals would also eliminate the railroad crossing at Pierce Street and create a cul-de-sac at the current intersection. ( See attached diagram .) It is important to note that any of the changes being discussed would not be constructed until the 2021 construction season – at the earliest.

Because these proposals are well-beyond the authority of staff to approve or provide comments … staff has proposed the following:

  1. Because this is a transportation planning matter, staff has requested that MDOT and the OCRC provide a presentation to the Planning Commission for review and comment.
  2. Because these changes could have an impact on other Township intersections, staff requested that the review include US-31 from M-45 south to Fillmore Street.

The Community Development department will coordinate this discussion between MDOT, the OCRC and the Planning Commission.
(616) 842-5988   | info@ght.org | www.ght.org